The ancient art of seduction can be interpreted in a contemporary way. Combining bygone rules and gentlemanly traditions, these timeless dating etiquette tips are redefined for the modern day gentleman, on his quest for true love.
A Game of Glances
Everything usually starts with an exchange of glances, which is key to expressing your intent. But beware of staring too maniacally at the object of your desire - use your glances wisely, and use a touch of charm. Only proceed to true seduction after exchanging soft and searching glances, rounded off by a persuasive smile.
A dinner for two, especially if you are in the early days of a courtship, should be private – away from indiscrete looks, excessive noise and interruptions, so visit a place where you know the Maitre and his waiters well. It is always best to favour a discretely and romantic spot, rather than a trendy restaurant to reduce the risk of bumping into curious friends, annoying acquaintances or an ex.
The Gentleman and his Vehicle
Rediscover classic chivalry by opening the door for your lady companion. Once you arrive at your destination, step swiftly out of the car, and go round to open her door with exquisite gallantry. A word of warning, however: always maintain an air of humour and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Flowers have a language and meaning of their own, so pay close attention to type and colour. Red roses stand for passion, white ones symbolize delicacy and purity of soul, whilst yellow roses imply jealousy. Try to find out early on what flowers are your love-interests favourite, and create a personalised floral symphony that speaks from your heart.
Accompanying with Chivalry
When you enter a public place, always walk in front of your lady - except when she ascends a stairway, when you should remain two steps behind. Before taking your seat at the table, help her to settle into her chair. Few men do this nowadays, so such attention to detail will reflect positively on you.
The Scent of Seduction
Fragrance is an essential part of your charm, emblematic of your personality. Not only does it reveal a lot about you, but it transmits long lasting feelings and memories. So, choose your perfume carefully and opt for strong, woody notes if you want to emphasize your masculinity and impeccable elegance. However, if you prefer a more natural approach, go for a fresh, citrus-based scent.
Giving a present is an art - the recipient's expectations and wishes are key to choosing the right gift. Today's gentleman needs to bear in mind these tips in order to be the perfect gift-giver:
Today's gentleman needs to bear in mind these tips in order to be the perfect gift-giver:
A Question of Balance
The secret is to strike the right balance between the pleasure of giving the gift, and the joy of receiving it. Try to create this alchemy, and do refrain from delegating this delightful task to anybody else.
Stones and Symbols
Making the gift a surprise is not easy. Although the possibilities are infinite, never go for something kitsch. Perhaps a watch? A silk bathrobe, a trip, or a classical scarf? For a personalised gift, opt for special gems like yellow citrine, bright green malachite, or precious Jade with a unique cut. A single stone is an option, or a pair of stones mounted together in a jewel. Sophisticated and symbolic, gems can be chosen according to the recipient's star sign or to mark a date or event.
Always have a handwritten note
A card is a must when you give a present. It can be large or small, made of thick or thin paper, even rice paper or parchment. Whatever you choose - whether formal or funny, white or off-white, embossed or printed - what counts is that the message is heartfelt and handwritten.
Gifting a Perfume
You really need to know the person well to give them a fragrance. Is the lady receiving the gift romantic, dynamic, audacious, sophisticated or elegant? Find a perfume that can express her character, and the chances are you won't go wrong. But try to change someone's tastes and you could be heading for disaster. Opt for a fragrance that is similar to what she already wears, and you'll almost certainly get it right. But if you are not very familiar with the person's tastes, it's best to go for a light, fresh bouquet.
Never underestimate the element of surprise created by a beautifully wrapped package. This is where the pleasure of giving begins, so let your imagination and personal taste run wild. Play with colours, materials, textures and details - you can opt for utter minimalism or total opulence - and decide whether you prefer precious wrapping paper or card, rough or smooth surfaces, silk or satin ribbon, hemp or raffia twine.
Books as Gifts
A book can be a perfect present, as long as you know exactly what the recipient's tastes and passions are. Bear in mind what piques their curiosity and what stimulates their professional interests. If in doubt, always opt for a coffee table book: decorative and not too difficult to match to someone's individual tastes. Alternatively, chose an original and intriguing antique book - as long as it's fun and fascinating, it doesn't have to necessarily be rare or precious.
Perfume is the key to creating a gentleman’s social identity. Smell is immediately associated with the idea of a person and becomes his narrative; his emotional essence and his aesthetic. It encapsulates charm and a memory, something that few other elements are capable of doing. A signature scent emphasizes personality and taste.
How to choose
Choosing a perfume is an art form. Every one of us is unique, so pay attention to how different fragrances change and react to your skin. Let the perfume evaporate before deciding: no rubbing or dabbing with paper or cloth.
Where and how
Where to apply perfume? In warm pulse points where heat can help to release the full olfactory composition: the back of the wrists, the bottom of the neck and inside of the elbow. Surrender yourself to the joy of a smell that is yours, and yours alone; indeed, quite simply you.
Fresh or sensual
Fragrances that work best for mornings, work days and formal occasions are the more mellow and less aggressive. Sensual, spiced and opulent notes, are ideal for evenings.
Keep the perfume in the dark
An excellent piece of advice: never leave a bottle of perfume exposed to direct sunlight or intense light; even worse, out of its box. The composition could change, and the olfactory perception too.
It’s all about climate
Be aware of the climate: the hotter the weather, the lighter the fragrance, as humidity may alter the scent. Of course it is always up to you. Traditional rules can be overturned based on your personality and the message that you want to convey about yourself.
A gentleman's touch
Here is a gentleman's tip: put a few drops of your perfume on a crisp, perfectly ironed linen or cotton handkerchief. Every time you take it out of your pocket, your fragrance will gently waft out.
Wine is a centric element of a cultural and aesthetic system. A magic word that tells extraordinary stories and recalls splendid landscapes, blending poetry with fragrances and textures. But how are wines best enjoyed? What are the best combinations? Pivotal questions and answers, with a touch of gentleman charm.
Ideal temperature for serving wine
How you serve wine is an art. Whites and rosés should be enjoyed at a temperature between 8°C and 10°C; for reds, it goes up to 18°C, though when it comes to heavier reds and aged wines, decant them so they can breathe a little beforehand, and serve at around 20°C.
Lining up wine glasses
Stand behind diners to their right, when you pour their wine. Make sure the different glasses are lined up from right to left, in the order in which they will be used.
How to match white and red wines
True wine lovers choose the bottle before the meal, and define the menu accordingly. Tradition calls for whites to be served with fish dishes, and reds with meats. But red wine and seafood can combine nicely, as long as you go for young wines that are fruity and light. This unexpected and sophisticated combination complements lobster and sea urchins and is pleasing to the palate.
Always pour the same wine into the same glass. Avoid messy drips on the tablecloth by using a drop-stopper – it’s elegant, professional and really does help to serve wine neatly.
Holding the bottle and pouring the wine
Never strangle the bottle: always hold it at the centre, making sure you do not hide the label. Gentlemen never fill their guests’ glasses more than one third full, and always serve the ladies at the table first.
How to hold a wine glass
You can hold it from the stem, in order not to compromise the pureness of the view, contaminate the wine with perfumes or odours, or alter its temperature. Alternatively, you can be a true sommelier and lift your glass with your left hand, and hold it at the base with your right. Put your middle finger under the glass, with your index finger and thumb grasping the stem, then with a decisive twist of the wrist expertly swirl the wine around in your glass, taking care to tip it just to the right angle.